Today’s message summary of November 1, 2015 from Pastor Gus Brown:
When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the people slaughtered because of God’s word and the testimony they had. They cried out with a loud voice: “Lord, the One who is holy and true, how long until You judge and avenge our blood from those who live on the earth?” So a white robe was given to each of them, and they were told to rest a little while longer until the number would be completed of their fellow slaves and their brothers, who were going to be killed just as they had been.
John was taken from his earthly plain to a heavenly plain in order to gain greater understanding.
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
—My hope is built on nothing less, Edward Mote (1797-1874)
If you are trusting in anything else other than Jesus Christ, all you are standing on is sinking sand. If you believe in Him, you will indeed live it out.
The Fifth Seal demonstrates how each of us is to live. It is how we are to stand for Jesus and learn more about this as we go along. As long as there is a lack of knowledge of who He is, it is difficult, if not impossible, to truly stand for Him.
With the Fifth Seal, John is taken to see heavenly visions. There is neither horse nor ruler mentioned. He is taken up in order to see what is taking place in heaven with Jesus and His faithful followers.
John sees the souls of the slain under the altar. There is a good chance that many of our young people may grow to see the times when people are being killed because of the gospel. Today, we have seen how a football coach was suspended for praying with his team after a game. A woman was jailed for her conviction about not granting licenses for gay marriages. This is just the beginning today.
The Fifth Seal is about how we are to live here on earth now.
2 Timothy 1:12
…and this is why I suffer these things. But I am not ashamed, because I know the One I have believed in and am persuaded that He is able to guard what has been entrusted to me until that day.
The people that John saw under the altar knew what they had lived for and knew who they had died for. They did not waver in their belief and stood firm before losing their lives.
He did not waver in unbelief at God’s promise but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, because he was fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.
Are you fully persuaded as to God’s promises for you? Are you persuaded that God is able to protect your soul?
Are you confident in the One you believe in? Is your faith anchored to Him?
One person considers one day to be above another day. Someone else considers every day to be the same. Each one must be fully convinced in his own mind.
Epaphras, who is one of you, a slave of Christ Jesus, greets you. He is always contending for you in his prayers, so that you can stand mature and fully assured in everything God wills.
Are you fully assured in the Lord Jesus Christ? Is He your only God?
I’m praying that this church is fully assured in who Jesus Christ is and believes only in Him. You are called to reverence Him and not a pastor or group of people.
Are you taking a stand against those things that are against God’s Word?
At what point are you willing to take such a stand?
The slain chose to take a stand against the religion of the false prophet.
Persecution is the systematic mistreatment of an individual or a group based upon their religious beliefs or affiliation, or lack thereof.
Persecution is certainly not new, but there will be a greater presence of it because of the opposition of Satan and of the Antichrist.
Persecution tests a person’s belief system–how one views himself and others, one’s morality, attitude and worldview. The Antichrist will be out to change how people see life in order to get them to worship him. If a person does not comply, he will have the person killed.
Those who are firm in Christ will stand firm in Him.
Persecution is to bring about reform. It creates an environment for change of belief. Some will say “no” because of their belief in Jesus Christ.
In 2014, over 165,000 Christians lost their lives because of their faith, and the number will be growing each year.
Those who are persecuted for righteousness are blessed, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs. “You are blessed when they insult and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of Me. Be glad and rejoice, because your reward is great in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
My eager expectation and hope is that I will not be ashamed about anything, but that now as always, with all boldness, Christ will be highly honored in my body, whether by life or by death.
For me, living is Christ and dying is gain. Now if I live on in the flesh, this means fruitful work for me; and I don’t know which one I should choose. I am pressured by both. I have the desire to depart and be with Christ—which is far better—but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you. Since I am persuaded of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that, because of me, your confidence may grow in Christ Jesus when I come to you again.
Be prayerful that God gives you the courage to stand before those who oppose you and to believe in His Word as you read it. Be prayerful that Christ is glorified.
2 Corinthians 5:6-8
So, we are always confident and know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight, and we are confident and satisfied to be out of the body and be at home with the Lord.
John saw the souls of the slain. What this meant to him…
- There was no more hunger
- There were no more challenges of one’s faith
- There was no more mental torment or fear.
- There was no more witnessing.
They died because of…
- The Word of God
- The testimony that they maintained. They would not renounce Him.
In those days, there will be no such thing as a “secret believer.” The testimony will be evident before everyone.
But they have no root in themselves; they are short-lived. When pressure or persecution comes because of the word, they immediately stumble.
Many will quickly fall away because there is no firm commitment and belief in Jesus Christ.
Paul talked and debated with his opposition, and they tried to kill him.
He conversed and debated with the Hellenistic Jews, but they attempted to kill him.
We are to endure the persecution and stand for Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 4:11-12
Up to the present hour we are both hungry and thirsty; we are poorly clothed, roughly treated, homeless; we labor, working with our own hands. When we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we respond graciously. Even now, we are like the world’s garbage, like the dirt everyone scrapes off their sandals.
The Word of God is never chained or silent.
2 Timothy 2:8-9
Keep your attention on Jesus Christ as risen from the dead and descended from David. This is according to my gospel. I suffer for it to the point of being bound like a criminal, but God’s message is not bound.
Matthew 10:17-21, 35-36
Because people will hand you over to sanhedrins and flog you in their synagogues, beware of them. You will even be brought before governors and kings because of Me, to bear witness to them and to the nations. But when they hand you over, don’t worry about how or what you should speak. For you will be given what to say at that hour, because you are not speaking, but the Spirit of your Father is speaking through you. “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will even rise up against their parents and have them put to death.
For I came to turn
a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
and a man’s enemies will be
the members of his household.
“Then they will hand you over for persecution, and they will kill you. You will be hated by all nations because of My name. Then many will take offense, betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. Because lawlessness will multiply, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be delivered. This good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed in all the world as a testimony to all nations. And then the end will come.
“I have told you these things to keep you from stumbling. They will ban you from the synagogues. In fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering service to God.”
Knowing that there is a purpose in persecution of those who believe, it is necessary to know what and who you believe in, and to stand firm in Jesus Christ.